I want to use this post to try to do a “check in” about my spiritual life. I need to do this on a periodic basis to be sure I am moving forward spiritually. It is just too easy to sit back and say “I have learned enough”. That will never happen to me as long as I draw a breath. If you are not … Continue reading I Believe
I know from personal experiences that saying you doubt something in your church can get you in some pretty serious trouble. I will make a bold statement for you. I am sure you have doubts, probably even serious doubts, about what you are told to be facts in your church too. Even Mother Theresa had them so don’t even bother to deny it! But, all … Continue reading Doubts are seldom allowed In The Church…
We need to get over the idea that those who pray the hardest get special favors from God and if he doesn’t answer our prayer requests then we are simply not praying enough. In my mind that is total fabrication and rationalization. Like so many other things, the religious establishment has had centuries to hone this particular message. Yes, I frequently pray to God. Except … Continue reading Those Who Pray The Hardest Get Special Favors
“Mixing religion and politics is like mixing ice cream and manure. It doesn’t do much to the manure but it sure does ruin the ice cream” Unknown- I could cite all kinds of places in the Christian Bible warning about mixing Ceasar & God but that is just not what I do. Instead, I am giving you the quote above. I don’t know for sure … Continue reading Mixing Religion And Politics
Everyone from the day after Jesus ascended into the clouds has been seeking the essence of Christ. One of the first ones was probably Paul of Tarsus. Except for that brief encounter with the spirit of Jesus on road to Damascus a few years after he physically left us, he had no personal contact. Today there are 40,000+ different organized version of this essence and … Continue reading The Essence Of God…
According to a 2013 study by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Brookings Institute, 23 percent of 18- to 33-year-olds are religious progressives, 17 percent are religious conservatives, and 22 percent are non-religious. By contrast, only 12 percent of 66- to 88-year-olds are religious progressives, while about half are religious conservatives. Second, the conversation about income inequality in the U.S. and abroad — the … Continue reading Religious Conservatism On The Wane….
When St. Augustine wrote On the Trinity, he tried to work out a conundrum. He wanted to figure out how women could be the image of God. He finally solved the puzzle by writing that when a woman is alone, then she is not in the image of God. It is only when she is joined with a man, when she is one flesh with … Continue reading The Image of God….
There are some folks who would say they are Christian, but they are looking less and less like Jesus. And there are some folks who would never claim to be Christian, yet their hearts and their passions are slowly moving closer and closer to Jesus’ heart. It’s up to God to sort all that out. Being more like Jesus is what we are trying to … Continue reading Reflections…
Morf Morford considers himself a free-range Christian who is convinced that God expects far more of us than we can ever imagine, but somehow thinks God knows more than we do….. As he’s getting older, he finds himself less tolerant of pettiness and dairy products. SOURCE: Morf Morford: It’s NOT the economy, stupid | Red Letter Christians. I am going to do a rare cross post … Continue reading God Knows More Than I Do…..
“Ok everyone, time for prayer requests…” I don’t know about you, but those times always unsettle me a bit. Not that I mind praying, but something just always seemed missing or “off.” It finally hit me, why are we just making prayer lists? When we say “pray for Tom who is sick” or “pray for Fred who lost his job” what are we actually asking … Continue reading Pray For….
If you have read this blog much you will know that I have pretty much given up on denominational Christianity and even the word “Christian”. Instead I have been calling myself a “follower of Jesus Christ”. Over the last few months I have been seriously contemplating my spiritual life and where I go from here. In the recent months this blog has pretty much been … Continue reading My Version….
My translation of the Bible is better than your translation. Hymns are better than choruses. The Contemporary service is better than the Traditional one. My version of baptism is better than yours…… Source: Stephen Mattson: Stop Comparing my Christianity to Your Christianity! – Red Letter Christians. Another brilliant post by Stephen Mattson over at Red Letter Christians and it came just at the right time for … Continue reading Stop Comparing my Christianity to Your Christianity!
I want to apologize to those of you who read this blog. It seems I have just lost the energy to continue to post here on a regular basis. The futility of convincing some to look at Jesus’ words in a different light has simply become too exhausting for me. Convincing people to concentrate on “being” a Christian as apposed to just believing certain things … Continue reading Lost Energy….
One of the underlying assumptions is that money from the offering or tithe belongs to the church. But the Scriptures consistently teach that the offering is God’s instrument of redistribution and that it belongs to the poor. Giving to the poor should not make its way into the budget; it is the budget. One could argue that small portions of the Israelite offering (no more … Continue reading Embezzling God….
Occasionally people knock on my door or hand me a tract on a street corner or strike up a conversation with the aim of asking, “Are you saved?” Even before I believed in the salvation of every person, I always answered with an enthusiastic yes. Often, rather than sharing my elation, my inquisitors would look me up and down with a dubious eye and ask … Continue reading Are You Saved???
I am saddened by how many people are afraid of God, projecting their negative experiences with parents and the Church onto God. Often we’ve reinforced these false images of God. I assured Susan her Father in heaven was different from her earthly father. I could tell she wanted to believe me but still hesitated. Susan asked me, “What if you’re wrong, and I believe you … Continue reading Being Afraid of God…. (Part 1)
“How can you believe that God’s grace isn’t sufficient, that many of God’s children will languish in hell forever, that they’ll never be restored to their Father, that evil will claim victory in so many lives? How can you believe that?” Gulley, Philip; Mulholland, James (2009-03-17). If Grace Is True: Why God Will Save Every Person (Plus) (pp. 89-90). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition. Some think the … Continue reading God’s Wrath vs. God’s Grace…….
Many in the Christian faith believe that if they study their bible enough they will come away with Jesus’ secret message. They think that hidden in those bible verses is a secret message that he intends for only his “true” believers. Like the Da Vinci code it is hidden away so that only a few will receive it. I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories … Continue reading Jesus’ Not So Secret Message….
Some Christians believe that absolutely everything that happens in your life was totally planned by God and is His will. They cite a verse here and a verse there to back up their claim. I am one who is a firm believer in free will so I am not going to put all the mistakes I have made in this life on God’s back. If … Continue reading Don’t Put It All On God…
Despite recent trends the U.S. is still pretty much an inclusive society. As the saying on the plaque at the Statue Of Liberty goes we welcome all others to our shores. The resulting diversity is in my mind one of the primary reasons we have been such a strong and prosperous country. Elitism is by definition exclusive. It wants more and more for a smaller and … Continue reading Inclusiveness…..
Since this is the first post here in 2013 I pray we all make a new years resolution to not embarrass God!! We followers of Jesus seem to think that our self-proclamation that we are Christians doesn’t affect anyone but ourselves. But in reality making that claim and then not living up the actions necessary to show the world that you follow Jesus embarrasses God. … Continue reading Don’t Embarrass God….
As I have mentioned in previous posts Luke Chapter 6 is at the heart of the Bible as far as I am concerned. Lets look at some of it starting at verse 27. “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps … Continue reading Luke 6 — Love Your Enemies….
I came across an article entitled Sheer Christianity in the November 2012 Sojourners Magazine that moved me. I want to tell you a little about it and quote some of the inspiring words. It is by Wesley Granberg-Michaelson who is the general secretary of the Reformed Church of America. I have to admit that I don’t know much about this organization. Here is a quote … Continue reading Sheer Christianity….
I live in Indiana which is pretty much a red State. Senator Lugar, who was our long-time representative in the U.S. Senate was defeated in the primary by Richard Mourdock who proudly announced that he is a loyal Tea Party candidate. His stated view on compromise is when the Democrats finally come to agree with everything Republicans want! I really haven’t been paying much attention … Continue reading God’s Will…
From A New Kind of Christianity: Ten Questions That Are Transforming the Faith by Brian D. McLaren: We’re following the best Christian tradition of going back to Jesus and the Scriptures, so our quest for a new kind of Christianity is, in fact, a most conservative quest. In our return to our roots, however, we’re not writing off all the great sages, scholars, and saints … Continue reading A New/Old Kind of Christianity
I started out my Spiritual journey as a Catholic because that is what my parents were. I came to find out that they were only tepid Catholic as they really didn’t go to church themselves very often but more often just dropped us off and then went home. Upon entering high school I went about twenty years moving between an inactive Christian and an agnostic … Continue reading Shouldn’t you read Paul in light of Jesus, instead of reading Jesus in light of Paul?”
I have been thinking lately about the words of Jesus and how he interacted with those he came across. Except for some of those in the religious establishment I couldn’t find any instance where he chose to automatically exclude from his saving grace or the wisdom of his teachings. He treated men and women pretty much the same; he welcomed all to his ministry. The poor … Continue reading The Practice of Exclusion…
I have had a Sojourners membership for a number of years now and enjoy the monthly magazine. One reason is that it shows me that I am not alone out there in believing what I do about Christianity. Jim Wallis, who is the editor-in-chief of the magazine always has an editorial at the beginning of each issue. This month is was about how the word … Continue reading Defining Evangelicals…
Dear R.J., “Jim, Christianity has nothing to do with racism.” That’s what my church elder told me when I was a 15-year-old boy. Can you believe that? “That’s political, and our faith is personal,” he said. That’s the night I left my church. This kind of story is all too common. So that’s exactly why we founded Sojourners 40 years ago – to call Christians … Continue reading Not as Much as We Would Like to Believe…
The title to this post certainly sounds like an ultra pompous statement doesn’t it? But this is indeed what some Christians are saying when they cling to the “Sola Scriptura” doctrine. To say that God has nothing else to teach us besides what is contained the documents that were collected more than sixteen hundred years ago is depriving them of much needed help in living … Continue reading I Don’t Care To Know Anything More About God….